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Brand: Applaud military’s efforts to go green

As we Americans take the time to celebrate our nation’s independence with friends and family, it is important to remember that the U.S. military continues to stand ready to serve and protect this country.

One of the key initiatives undertaken by the Department of Defense is to ensure our military has safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy resources.

As a way to increase energy security and reduce costs, the DOD has enacted a number of programs that place our military in a leadership position when it comes to clean energy innovation and energy-efficient operations. From reducing energy demand through conservation and efficiency, to increasing on-site electricity generation with renewable energy, to enhancing energy management, to testing innovative initiatives, the DOD has instilled effective policies to ensure long-term and sustainable energy security.

We can see the positive impacts of our military “going green” right here in North Dakota. Minot Air Force Base may be one of the most energy-efficient air bases in the entire U.S. Minot AFB reduced its base-wide energy intensity by 32.8 percent in 2013. It has also taken other measures in energy efficiency, leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

The Army Reserve Center in Fargo, where I train with an Army Reserves unit, is a LEED-certified building. Only buildings that are recognized for their best-in-class, energy-efficient building strategy and practices are able to receive LEED certification.

These measures ensure our military will use less energy and save taxpayers money.

These efforts are not just to “go green,” they are common sense, money saving and in the interest of national security. I applaud the DOD’s efforts and look forward to continued innovation in the clean energy sector, both in the public and private sectors.

Scott Brand, candidate for District 13 House of Representatives, West Fargo